Laptops forum

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Ok boys, I 'm impressd w/help u gav wynton100, here's mine

by papergirl221 / August 16, 2006 3:38 PM PDT

Dear Nooorm, R. Proffitt, samkh, brawnyman713, tuxxer,

You guys (?) gave some nice advise to wyman100 so I thought I'd let you all take a stab at this...

First of all, be gentle with me boys, LOL...I don't even know the words to use to describe how little I know about computers (core duo, turion, processors, hard drives, RAM, memory, giga something...I have no idea what any of those mean and the warm gaze I'm giving you right now is me slowly glazing over, LOL)

BUT I completely need a computer for what I do...

I trade stocks online and spend so many hours online that I'm desperate for the portability of a laptop.

Here are the advantages I'd like to see and the problems I wish to avoid ...

During a typical day, I use live streaming quotes, live streaming news and live tick charts and day charts...and for their java charts (don't know what java means except I know it allows me to pull up all kinds of data points as my cursor scans across the screen)

PROBLEM--sometimes when I have a number of them open on my desktop, it either slows way down or locks
ANOTHER PROBLEM--sometimes my internet service dumps me also when I have alot open

Obviously as I'm hot on the trail of something, I'm opening more windows and (applications, is that the word??) and so I OFTEN get kicked off or frozen right at the worst time and by the time I reboot, I have missed an important trade.

OKAY, so the question is when I go to buy a laptop
what exactly is it that I should mainly be asking for to get the ability to have everything I need to have open all at the same time for LONG periods of time

Is it regular memory, or online memory, my provider, processor speed, a duo core thingy (I'm just repeating terms I've hear swirled around...)

I won't be insulted if u just dump a shopping list without explaining to me; who would want to take the time for all that explaining...but IF there is a particular dummies book I should read, I'd be happy to take the title.

Can I stay under $1000 and still get what I need CONSISTENTLY? I am doing well in my trading but my account is still small; so what price range do I need to be in to keep me in the game or need to buy now inorder to grow with?

TWO FINAL QUESTIONS--for the number of hours I log would a 17'' screen with appropriate power be a good investment...stupid question: do they really put more on the screen or is everything just bigger?? OK, now that that comment for its absurdity made u snort your coffee u get the idea of how little I really know. I am a redhead with a touch of inner blonde...

Thanks so much for reading this far and considering giving me some pointers. OH, forgot to add this: is it best to get a side mouse...does that pad cursor thing become a nuisance when you spend hours online? Any favorites?


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hey joanne
by udayan71 / August 16, 2006 9:29 PM PDT

Mind if I take a crack at it? Happy

Im sorry to say that for $1000 you'll be hard pressed to find a nice 17" machine. Perhaps you should take a look at Dell's Inspiron offerings since they are pretty good value for money. Nicely powerful machines too which shouldn't lock up.

Another option is to buy more RAM and an external 17" monitor. Now depending on the number of pixels on the screen it can display more & likely will display more. If you provide some details about your current machine, I can find out what RAM to get and where.

Now that internet issue is more to do with your connection than the computer, perhaps you might want to upgrade the speed you are getting?

It is possible that your machine is slowing down somewhat due to spyware - if so I recommend you download and install (easy step-by-step setup) the programs I mentioned here;

Finally, I like the trackpad and use it for hours but some don't and an external mouse may be ergonomically superior.


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thank u udayan
by papergirl221 / August 17, 2006 1:59 AM PDT
In reply to: hey joanne

Dear Udayan,

Thanks for the great info; I feel like I'm in a foreign land. And I can't speak geek, not even enough to ask where the bathrooms are!

According to the little box, it says--130,544RAM---that sure sounds like alot but maybe it's puny??

(The 17" thing was maybe just wishful thinking, sigh)
Thanks Udayan,

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by udayan71 / August 17, 2006 3:06 AM PDT
In reply to: thank u udayan

Yeah there is a lot of terminology so I'll avoid that and keep it simple.

As Bob says you need to get yourself a Firewall. Now what this does is it prevents people from accessing and controlling your computer without your permission. Like a lock on a door. Without it, your PC is an open door.

Here is the link to ZoneAlarm. Download it, run the installer and pay close attention to which programs you allow access to the internet. I would allow Internet Explorer and if you use AIM or ICQ one of those too.

Now that you have that, you need to get Grisoft's AVG Free Edition. This product is an anti-virus program that will scan your machine for malicious programs.

The next program to add is Ad-Aware. This program deletes any programs that are currently on your computer, using your internet connection to send out your personal data, or to spy on your usage habits (what you use your machine for).

Finally, this program is CCleaner which erases your cache. Over time as you browse the web & as you use your PC it gets loaded up with history files that are records of where you've been and what you've done, passwords, favourite files/programs, etc... this is not necessary anymore and will slow down your machine.

About RAM, that amount of RAM appears to be 130MB from what you've said. That isn't very much, I would buy more. For that, tell me the make (eg; Dell) and model (eg; Dimension 4700) of your machine, and if you can the year you bought it.

Lastly, would you consider buying a desktop machine? They are often far cheaper than laptops, come with more RAM and have larger screens - but of course, are not portable.


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by papergirl221 / August 17, 2006 5:26 AM PDT
In reply to: reply...

hi again

I looked up the stuff I have and Grisoft's AVG Free Edition and Ad-Aware are the ones I was referring to in my note to Bob, just hadn't looked up the names properly.

I think my computer is some kind of generic because I'm not seeing anything like a brand name as I look under 'computer' but the guy I bought it from can tell me since I'll buy more memory from him.

He installed the AVG and the ad-aware, so I wonder if he also installed the cleaner and the firewall thing and I just don't know it so I'm not using it; I will check it out...thank you so much.

Desktop...isn't that what I'm on now (sounds stupid to ask, but hey I warned you) are you just saying 'get a better one' well yes I thought of that but it doesn't get me out of working inside my closet. So since I was facing these issues, I figured it might be time to also go portable.

Probably logging off soon, but will check back tomorrow. Thanks again, Udayan

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Let's recap :)
by udayan71 / August 17, 2006 8:15 AM PDT
In reply to: hi

So you have AVG, Ad-Aware & you got ZoneAlarm as Bob & I asked?

Where did you get this machine? Is there a brand name on the monitor? Or the tower? I'm sure you're using a desktop machine, so no problem there. When did you buy it?

Speak to you tomorrow,

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thanks udayan out til Monday
by papergirl221 / August 18, 2006 2:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Let's recap :)

out til Monday but wanted to acknowledge your post; will return

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For a few dollars more (1100 range)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 16, 2006 10:01 PM PDT

Even on you'll see Toshiba Core Duo offerings with 1G RAM, 100GB (or more?) hard disks and nice screens. The Core Duo is a treat to smoothing out demaning applications. If we move to Core Solo, we see many units in your price range. Read other replies about that.

About your current lockups. There is not enough clues why that happens but here's what I've found. The issue usually follows a person from machine to machine because they do whatever it is that caused it on the next machine. That is they don't install a firewall, scan for spyware or let the antivirus lapse or install P2P software or ... "other." There are also hardware reasons in many machines but no clues point to any specific ideas.


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Good Point
by papergirl221 / August 17, 2006 2:14 AM PDT

Hi Bob,
Good point that it could be me, who knew!?!

I don't have any People to people stuff, if that what p2p means, my antivirus is some kind of freeware...I had MacAfee and a couple of years ago my neighborhood repair guy took it off saying it was complete overkill.

I do use whatevber is the free stuff I have to scan for spys and contain/remove them; I scan for viruses but I've not had any yet (that it's alerting to anyhow)

But I don't know what this firewall thing is...I think I understand that it's some type of encryption?? you do your work behind so noone can 'get' you but how do you get a firewall. Maybe I'm not even right in what I think it is...

OH, new development, someone said to check my disk/drive? for fragmentation or some other word, SO I went to the spot they said and did it and that brought back almost my original speed. Is that the hardware thing you were referring to or is there more. But Udayan also made a good point that my internet connection is too slo-mo but if I'm understanding you guys correctly EVEN if I get a better internet speed I still have to upgrade my machine in order to that advantage of it and ALSO to keep a whole bunch of windows or applications open all at once...?

Thanks, Bob. It's nice of you to answer.

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That firewall note is telling. A quick and fast reply.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 17, 2006 2:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Good Point

1. If you don't have a firewall, some versions of Windows lockup as some bad person sends your machine a command and that's it. Game over.

Let's fix that. I suggest Zone Alarm. More about that is in the security forum.

Price? zip, nada.

2. Pest control. While you use a free updated antivirus we need to do a little more and get the second opinion. For Windows 2000/XP owners I suggest EWIDO and HOUSECALL. I scan, eject what they find and usually after the firewall and antivirus update, if the owner behaves themselves by not viewing, previewing or opening emails they don't know who it's from they usually fair better.

Both are free and found with

Hope that's it's something simple.

3. Many machines have never been cleaned out. Dust collects on the heatsinks, dust bunnies grow in the case or fans fail. My simple test is to remove the case cover and see if it's better.

4. "fragmentation" never has been found by me to cause lockups. I can only write that I think this is some urban lore that will never die. Feel free to take action but I won't enter into any debate on that.


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by papergirl221 / August 17, 2006 5:50 AM PDT

hi Bob,

You guys have been wonderful:

The fan does seem to be making more noise so I'll take off the case and see if the dust bunnies have evolved into hippos, don't know what heat sinks and all those things are that you said but I'll pek inside for dirt issues...

I only did two things the defrag thing AND forgot this, I uninstalled my cheap ($100 retail) digital camera driver?? and the photosoftware because it said it was taking up 297 megabites of space; I wonder if every time I connect it, it reinstalls because the program inself is disappointing in its lack of 'tricks' so the 297 seems awfully high, ya know??

Anyhow, I did that and then the defrag thing. Turned it back on (rebooted?) and been zipping around.

Have experienced slowness once and ALMOST seemed like a lockup again but nothing like before.

I had just run my free stuff about a week ago before the uninstall digital camera thing and the defrag thing but nothing showed up.

But I definitely will add the Zone Alarm and the EWIDO and HOUSECALL items you talked about.

(I do try to be really good about my curiousity and strange emails)

Well, must go, the rest of my day calls...thanks again, Bob. I'll print all this stuff off I got today and start to do my assignments. the way, what is this thing I landed on...are you guys professionals? Or superheros? Are their capes/tights involved?

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We are ... people helping people.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 17, 2006 6:22 AM PDT
In reply to: hi

On the CNET Forums pages we have Meet the Moderators so you can take a peek at who the moderators are. However this is a community where we (I?) hope members dive in and help each out.

As to capes and such, all I have so far in my CNet t-shirt but no cape yet.


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No, no!
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 17, 2006 6:18 PM PDT

The rest of us are ordinary people.

But Bob? He has X-Ray vision, Many of us hero worship him!! Happy

Mark (a sad failure compared to Bob).

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(NT) (NT) I wonder what he uses that X-Ray vision for :P
by udayan71 / August 17, 2006 10:39 PM PDT
In reply to: No, no!
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I just used it to repair my big screen TV.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 17, 2006 11:03 PM PDT

Our big TV failed and I was getting nowhere finding the person that fixed it last time. This is not a small unit but the 54 inch RPTV from Toshiba. We bought it in 1999 so we want to keep it around.

Using my virtual X-Ray sight I used the bits and pieces of what was replaced last time plus some searches to determine what parts were replaced last time. I found many discussions about this part and found the parts (again google) then placed the order.

Yesterday the parts arrived and I disassembled the RPTV, using solder braid to set the old parts free. About 2 hours later the surgery was complete. The chances improved when I found that the old parts connector pins had seperated from the parts.

I also discovered the last repair person didn't put any heatsink compound on the replacement parts which is probably why the repair didn't last.

The good news is that instead of a 400 dollar repair my parts and shipping for the parts was 21 bucks with a trip to Radio Shack for solder braid at 3.5 bucks.

My background is not TV repair but general electronics down to the molecular level and this along with today's super tools like may lead to the X-Ray comments.


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(NT) (NT) holy snakes on a plane. he has magical powers.
by udayan71 / August 18, 2006 12:53 AM PDT
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I am back with extra, extra clothes on :)
by papergirl221 / August 18, 2006 1:14 AM PDT

Wow, just looked at the moderator's page, looks like Toto and I landed in a good spot. Happy

Bob, I have on everything I own so you shall at least be forced to squint! (nothing good ever comes easy)

Mike, "capes-r-us" might hit the spot; sometimes just getting the sheepskin, tin heart, and badge of courage can do wonders...can you tell I'm from Kansas? (City).

Well, unfortunately my day has changed radically and I can't participate in much discussion today; also need to print off and have some time to absorb all the good help I received yesterday. But I'll be back in a few...


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You landed at the CNET Forums.
by udayan71 / August 17, 2006 8:10 AM PDT
In reply to: hi

Where the smartest, funniest, hottest and wittiest folks from all around the world converge to chatter while the rest of the world explodes around us.

The Moderators are superheros, then there are Featured Members and then there are the wonderful community of CNET Forum users who make this thing spin. All of us are brilliant.


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Laptop unlikely recommendation for daytraders
by samkh / August 17, 2006 2:06 AM PDT

If you are a full time day trader or worked at a trading firm, it is unlikely you would be using a laptop. Those people get the largest LCD monitor money can buy and the fastest (and reliable) network connections. If you are looking to prosper (vs. balancing your lifestyle between wealth and health) get a powerful workstation, giant monitor and cable internet at the highest speed price, all tethered to your cubbie. Now go be the next Sage of Omaha Happy

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Wealth and Health balance
by papergirl221 / August 17, 2006 2:27 AM PDT

Dear Samkh,

You hit the nail on the head; I am trying to balance wealth and health rather than just try to imitate the big boys.

My current cubby is a closet and I hate it, nor do I wish to drag it all out into my livingroom because then you are always looking at it.

Don't misunderstand, but I want to come out of the closet, LOL! (daylight being such a nice concept)

But I do agree those professional setups look great.
Thanks, Samkh,
Joanne--ps, somtimes I've fantasized about buying a fractional share of Berkshire just so I can go to the Oracele of Omaha's yearly shin-dig.

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by samkh / August 17, 2006 7:48 AM PDT

Start by hiring a geek or befriending one. Traders contract for IT support, shouldn't you?

Don't abandon your office (typing this from a closet cubby). Get your current PC sanitized by the geek so that you have a fresh start without viruses, adware, etc. Maintain your antivirus subscription so that the software will update itself as scheduled (ask geek if you don't know how). Set Windows to automatically download and install its updates. No need to install firewall software on current PC. Use this PC to trade only or to login to sites you trust (eg. brokerage, banks). Don't surf, shop online, download free software or install unessential software; this is your financial lifeline so don't fool with it!

Install a good quality wireless network router with firewall between your PC and the DSL/Cable modem. Get the geek to do it including WAP encryption and MAC filter and test the whole setup. Consumer units <$100, commercial units >$300 but firmware is upgradable.

Now for fun. Get a decent(<$800) wireless laptop no finer than 1280x800 screen resolution (1024x768 better for text but hey it's your eyes so you decide) for roaming in the house. 15.4" screen (15" for 1024x768), 1GB memory and 3.5 to 5 hr battery time is enough. Demo it in a store/kiosk if possible and pick the one with keyboard and screen you like most. Ignore all speeds and feeds spiel. Get it with Windows XP Pro or MCE, not Home Ed, and set up a Power User account in addition to Administrator. Get antivirus and firewall. Set XP and antivirus to auto-update themselves (MUSTS). Use Power User account to watch your stocks, trade only if you have to, and play; use Administrator account only to install safe software. Set it to connect only to your wireless router's SSID and no other. This is your toy, enjoy it...with tech support of course.

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should I reverse these directions??
by papergirl221 / August 18, 2006 1:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Alternative

morning samkh,

should I reverse these directions
since I spend so much time cooped up in my closet trading and my aim is to find a way to stretch my legs, etc and get out of my closet cubbyhole...

in otherwords keep my closet cubby computer for play and make my laptop for work?? just wondering...

BUT I totally dig what you're saying, keep whatever I do my trading on PURE, right?

So much to think about.
Joanne--may not be able to respond for a few days; have to leave now and have a trip planned for weekend

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Plan B, madness but
by samkh / August 19, 2006 2:12 AM PDT

it's your time and money. I don't think you'll be happy with the results (speed and screen) from a notebook in the living room but if you want to try it, get one that you can return w/o restocking (Best Buy?).

Tick for tick (CPU clock that is) a desktop will beat a closely similar config laptop in total performance across various workloads, mostly due to the hard drive.

The screen is a bigger issue. Do you really want to work on a smaller screen in higher ambient light? I enjoy my living room too but I retreat to my dimmed closet for serious computing. btw do you have a wired network outlet in the LR or were you planning to go wireless? Wireless will further slow down your connection due to error correction and security encryption.

Now Plan B. Get an iMac and redecorate the LR so that guests are awed. Beware that MS Windows compatibility if you ever need it will cost performance.

Good bye and good luck with your shopping.

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Man oh man heres what you need
by ar69 / August 17, 2006 3:14 PM PDT

In response to you saying that it slows down when streaming this and that, I have this to say:
The processor is the brain of your computer, so think of it like your brain. When you try to have it run multiple applications at once it slows down because, like a real brain, you cant give it too many things to do without overloading it. Thats what dual core processors are for. Dual core processors are relatively new to the computer world. They are basically 2 processors, or brains, in one chip. So its kind of like having a secretary. You can give dual cores processors multiple tasks at once and it wont slow down nearly as much as your current computer. In addition, some newer software is programmed to use both cores at once, and as a result will run faster with a dual core processor. In the notebook world as of right now, there are 2 dual core processors. One is made by Int?el and is called the core duo that you were talking about. The other is made by AMD and is called the Turion X2. A new model has just been created by intel and has is scheduled to start appearing in notebooks in September. It is called the core 2 duo. If you can wait a month and dont mind spending a little extra dough, wait for the Core 2 Duo.
Also, when youve found the notebook you want, please post it in the forums with DETAILED specifications and let us inspect it before you buy it.
About your question of your internet provider:
If you have a dial up connection that may be a problem.
The extremely slow speed of dialup is not equipped to handle the large files of todays world. However if you have a high speed internet connection such as dsl or cable then you should be fine
As far as memory goes, you should equip it with a mimimum of a gigabyte of memory for what you are doing.
I was reading part of your post at a time and then responded to part of it at a time as to give it my full attention and not forget anything. When I got to the part about the laptop I realized I needed to ask you a few questions.
1. Do you need a webcam built in?
2. Do you need a DVD burner?
3. Do you need Windows XP Home editon, Media Center edition, or Professional edition?
4. Do you need the 17" screen?
5. Do you want a glossy or matte screen?
6. Do you need a large hard drive?
7. Do you need built in bluetooth?
If there is anything else you need that I have not mentioned, then please let me know.

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I made a mistake in my post
by ar69 / August 17, 2006 3:27 PM PDT

I said in?el when I meant Intel

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by papergirl221 / August 18, 2006 2:05 AM PDT that to distinguish you from brawnyman712 and brawnyman714??...I think with this type of stellar advise you can just take on the moniker brawnyman, period, kind of like Cher

The two MUST HAVES are being able to

1. Keep the live streaming news/quotes, java charts, along with lots of static charts and some type of word application open all-at-once for l-o-n-g periods of time

2. Great resolution for TEXT/NUMBERS (as opposed to people who want great pictoral/video resolution)

Answers to the other:

1/2 built in webcam/DVD burner? Nice if they 'come with' but have no intention to go looking for them

3. Windows XP Home editon, Media Center edition, or Professional edition

(goodness, I don't even know what these are so I guess if I've lived without them in my work so far, I can live without them as an upgrade now)

4. Do you need the 17" screen?

ding, ding, ding, we have a winner...I'd love a 17" but cost on these seems so high, but maybe that's where extra investment should go since I simultaneously look at so many items and am always flipping back and forth right now

5. Do you want a glossy or matte screen?

whatever is best, best, best for viewing text/ numbers on for hours on end; or may not help with resolution but best for one's health??

6. Do you need a large hard drive?

(Sheepishly)I don't know what a large hard drive is for. With what I've told you guys, all I can say is..."do I?"

7. Do you need built in bluetooth?

see above, LOL...what's it that so you can go any where and get internet, if so YES, YES, YES

Anything else I need hmmm,
1. that part about internet anywhere but being secure and protected anywhere would be tantmount
2. C/D burner YES, YES,YES
3. a sturdy shell would be nice (bit of a klutz)
4. silver stuff is prettier than black (hate the black colored ones) So superficial, I know, but life is also to be enjoyed, yes??
5. perhaps other stuff that I can't think of at the moment

So Santa, any hope for me? I've been a v-e-r-y good girl...

'til Monday, brawnyman (There! I'm just going to claim it no # attached)

Joanne--my sched is making me have to leave, so sorry, don't mean to beg for enlightenment and then run; I'll be back

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I may have just the laptop
by ar69 / August 18, 2006 9:36 AM PDT
In reply to: wow

First I will explain a couple of things. Bluetooth is a type of wireless connection that can be used to connect to cellphones, PDAs, Blackberrys, Bluetooth headphones, and other devices. It is not too expensive at only $10-25 as an add on option, and would be useful for your cellphone and other mobile devices. Not all mobile devices support bluetooth, so an older cellphone or PDA probably wont connect.
For the glossy or matte screen. A glossy screen increases brightness and contrast on your monitor. Images and video will look more vibrant and colorful. The disadvantage to a glossy screen is that it is much more reflective. Light from a window or lightbulb will make an annoying reflection on your screen. Getting a glossy screen means you need proper lighting. A matte screen has a duller image but lighting is far less of a problem. Here are two laptops for you to look at
A couple actually. It depends on your preference
There is the HP Pavilion dv2000t. There is also the HP Pavilion dv5000t They are both made by HP. The dv2000t has a webcam and is a pound lighter, but is more expensive. The 5000 has no built in webcam and is heavier but can be had with a more powerful configuration for the same price. These can be had with a good configuration and still keep you close to your $1000 budget. I would go to the HP website at and look at them for yourself.

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Thinkpad T60 & a Thinkpad Advanced Dock
by Nooorm / August 18, 2006 1:18 AM PDT

The T60 is the best combination, IMO, of power and portability. The keyboards are the best on any laptop. With the advanced dock (like my buddy John has) you have DVI out for high def images on a big honkin 23" widescreen flat panel (like my buddy John has). If you don't mind something a bit heavier, you might consider the new Z61p. Very powerful DT replacement with a larger 15.4" widescreen which should give you more screen space for mutiple windows.

I've used a Thinkpad for the past 15 first was a 570. I have never experienced any significant problems with them. Before the end of the year, I'll be trading in my T42p on a T60. With a Duo Core processor, a gig or more of RAM and 128 MB graphics card, a T60 will likely run circles around the desktop you're using now...unless it has very recent components. If it's more than 9 months old, you should see significant performance improvements with a Duo Core laptop.

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must sign off but...
by papergirl221 / August 18, 2006 2:12 AM PDT

hi Noorm,

wow, so much great stuff; heading out for rest of day and gone for weekend but wanted to acknowledge your kind and meaty post; I told the other guys I'll be printing everything off so I can read at my diningroom table and will return with more questions

I'm in over my head just looking at it all. Sounds like you really know your your buddy John does Wink

til Monday,

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Earlier I posted 2 laptops, heres a 17 inch for $1000
by ar69 / August 18, 2006 11:07 AM PDT
In reply to: must sign off but...

It is the Toshiba Satellite

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